Thursday, December 18, 2014

Health Isn’t All Or Nothing

It’s starting to look at lot like Christmas, cheer is in the air and you’re surrounded with food!

For the dieters out there it’s a scary time of year. What will you do with all that food??? I have to admit for me, back when I was in my early 20’s and a manic dieter I was so scared of the festive season and holidays.

I would dread it in fact. I’d have a plan on how I was going to exercise off all those extra treats I wasn’t supposed to eat. Come Christmas day, I’d say “oh well its Christmas” then binge on the food in front of me. Only to feel so guilty, I’d put on my sneakers and go for a run to try to burn it off.  I made sure I did do my 2-3hrs worth of training whilst everyone lounged around having fun.

It was hell on earth.

I used to be one those people who believed weekends and the festive season was the golden ticket eats whatever I wanted. Because, it’s Christmas!

For some the “It’s Christmas” mantra occurs for the whole month of December and January.  That means free for all including dessert, alcohol and food. Just eat until you cannot eat any more.

Giving your self-permission to binge is not healthy. It all boils down to perception on things and the severity of your dieting.  

Quick tip; Stop dieting. Period.

The problem is you come into the festive season on an overly resistive diet and a preoccupation with food. You are relying on dieting rules to regulate intake. But life doesn’t always perfectly accommodate our dieting does it?

Christmas comes and we can’t control ourselves every little morsel of food looks delicious and we haven’t developed self-trust with food, nor are we in tune with our hunger cues. We eat more than we need (outside of our dieting rules) and feel guilty about it.

What we must remember is that health isn’t all or nothing, it’s some where in the middle. We don’t need to be overly resistive and exercise our selves into the ground to the point of exhaustion to be healthy. Trust me, it’s not fun either.

Eating on Christmas day should be like every other day, the same eating behaviours apply; eat when your hungry, stop when your full. The only difference is you have a lot more tasty food to choose from.  

Christmas is only one day, and so we should enjoy what we eat but also be mindful of how full you are feeling. Enjoying food is one thing, overindulgence is a completely different story. Eating when you’re not hungry is equally wasteful.  Think about this for a minute, if you didn’t go back for seconds you could potentially enjoy that food for longer over the next coming days.

This festive season take a balanced approach to your health. Make a packed with yourself not to put on weight. It’s always a good time to think about being mindful of food choices. It’s always a good time to exercise a degree of self-restraint without being overly restrictive. It’s always a good time to take a sensible approach to exercise.

Besides Christmas is just one day, and your health is forever

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Festive Season Workouts

During the festive season time is taxing! Are you running around like a headless chook? For me short deadlines, over committing, birthday and Christmas parties have really cut into my workout time. If this is happening to you too, you need to listen up!

Although it’s ok to miss a workout here and there, you can’t do this all the time. If you miss to many workouts fitness drops, you don’t reach your goals and well, you don’t feel so great. Doing something is always better than doing nothing!

Even if you only have 10min to spare, take the bull by the horns and get shit done! And if another 10minutes becomes free later on in the day then try to do some more. You don’t always need to have a full 30-60minutes spare to get the perfect workout done.

Now to make life easier for you, try these workouts on for size:

10min Workout

Warm up/cool down March 1min on the spot

Circuit 1:
  • 10 jumping jacks + 6 push ups + 10 squats

 Circuit 2:
  • 10 squat jumps + 6 tricep push ups + 60sec plank

15min Workout

Warm up/cool down Skip 2min
100m sprint down the street and jog back x3

Circuit 1 (10reps x 3 sets):

  • Jump squats
  • Jump lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Hyper extensions
  • Abdominal crunches

20min Workout

Warm up/ cool down jog around the block 5min

Circuit 1 (12reps x 2 sets):

  • Burpees
  • Jump lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Hyper extensions
  • Tricep push-ups
  • Abdominal crunches
  • 1min plank

For me a sure fire fast workout is a 30min run with jump squats to follow, what ever floats your boat! Let me know if you have a favourite short workout you like to do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Charitable Foodie Xmas Gifts

It is officially all hands on deck for the count down to Christmas. For the gift buys in the family you can press the panic button now! hahaha

But wait before you do, I have done some super sleuthing on the Internet for some wonderful foodie gift ideas. If you are stuck for gift ideas why don’t you try one of these charitable gifts?

For me I feel guilty over Christmas that am potentially contributing to mindless landfill, wasting resources not to mention my money on Christmas gifts people may or may not want. This year I have put a blanket ban across both families, no gifts! Because Christmas for me isn’t a time to rack up a credit card bill, it’s meant to be for spending time with family.

I know in some households this is a tough rule to lay down so as an alternative why not a charitable gift that helps you give back;

We all know chocolate isn’t the most nutritious choice, but on occasion when you really feel like it, it’s a welcomed treat. You can order this Oxfam chocolate hamper online and get it delivered to your door before Chrissy.

How about buying a family a Chicken that will eventually lay eggs? Chicken and eggs help provide children and families with a lasting source of protein. I have donated to world vision via this donation portal in the past. You can actually get a card send with the donation pledge sent straight to the intended family member. It’s not a sick joke, make sure if the person you are donating on behalf of will appreciate this idea.

This is a favourite of mine last Christmas I ordered a box of good will wines with a percentage of the purchase price donated to the guide dogs association. It came with lovely labels of guide dog puppies on the front. Since our entire family loves dogs, it was a hit.  There are about 10 different charities you can pick from with their own unique labels so you can customise it to the persons interest.

This is an easy one, who doesn’t like tea? This one is particularly good for Kris Kringle gift giving at work $10 isn’t going to break the bank and you can have an exotic tea delivered to your office door.

Now if your really into saving lives you can buy a box of therapeutic foods to be given to malnourished people. This Plumpy’Nut paste can bring a child back from severe malnutrition fast. It doesn’t need to be mixed with water, which is useful because clean water used for drinking is some time scarce.

There’s plenty more charitable gift ideas you can give only your imagination limits you. Have you got a favourite charitable gift?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Environmentally Health Conscious Vegetarian Christmas

Christmas is only 4 weeks away and you have been tasked on Christmas lunch. Are you stuck in a pickle? Want to do something creative, different and give back to the world?

Well, I have the perfect solution for you, why don't you go vegetarian style?

For all you meat eaters out there don’t tune out just yet, it’s not as bad as you think.  You won’t need to trade your turkey feast for tofu burgers.

Having a vegetarian theme can work a treat, and if certain individuals are really opposed (there’s always one), you can reduce you carbon footprint by just having one simple turkey to keep the meat lovers happy.

Hosting a vegetarian Christmas dinner can be quite balanced feast with a healthy twist. Better than feeling stuffed full, and regretting every morsel like other Christmas experiences. 

You get the best environmentally sustainable brownie points too if you use in season veggies and fruit. That way you can reduce your carbon footprint. Not to mention save some money! 

Try this menu on for size:

Pre meal canapés

Whole-wheat flat bread with hummus or salsa dip

Cucumber and avocado sushi rolls

Corn on the cob

Quick tip: Keep your glass jars for later use, home made hummus in a recycled jar is a neat gift for work friends


Feta, rocket and pomegranate salad

Roasted carrots and parsnips with pesto sauce

Asparagus soup with whole-wheat flat bread


Spanokopita with steamed spinach

Stuffed black bean mushrooms, quinoa with salad

Lentil patties, steamed string green beans and roasted potato’s

Quick tip: I use frozen spinach to make spanokopita its cheaper and easier reduced prep time


Sautéed cinnamon pears, yogurt & flaked almonds

Christmas ginger bread cookies

Pumpkin pie

Quick tip: When making pumpkin pie really process pumpkin till its smooth and creamy.. mine looks a little rough around the edges!

Most of all remember that Christmas is a great time to socialise and build stronger connections with friends and family. It’s special times like this that create long lasting memories. Enjoy good food, with great company, most of all be safe. Cheers!